- Review Date: 8/12/2013
- Bottom line: The HP 2000-2b19wm won't impress you with speed or features but it does get you into a 15-inch laptop for under $300.
- Pros: Low price. Good battery life. HDMI output.
- Cons: Weak performance. Low-res screen. No USB 3.0. Smallish hard drive.
If you only have $300 to spend on a laptop, you don't have to settle for a refurbished model or take your chances on eBay, but you will have to make some sacrifices. Case in point: With the HP 2000-2b19wm you get a brand new 15-inch notebook from a reputable retailer, but it's not a very powerful notebook and its feature set is not what you'd call robust. It will handle your basic computing needs but there are better deals to be had.
Design and Features
The HP 2000's lid has a glossy Winter Blue finish that looks sharp but can become unsightly if you don't wipe off the fingerprint smudges every now and then. A large HP logo is embedded under the lid's clear coating, and a smaller logo appears under the lid on the lower bezel of the display. The chassis is the same thickness as the Toshiba Satellite C855D-S5104 (1.4 inches) and like the Dell Inspiron 15 (I15RV-6190 BLK), it weighs 5.1 pounds.
The HP 2000's traditional keyboard uses large black keys but lacks the dedicated number pad found on the above-mentioned Dell Inspiron 15 and Toshiba C855D-S5104. The wrist rest sports the same Winter Blue finish as the lid and holds a moderately sized multi-gesture touchpad and two mouse buttons. The keyboard is responsive and comfortable to use and the touchpad had no trouble responding to swipes, pinching, and other Windows 8 gestures.
As with most budget-class laptops the HP 2000 uses a 1,366-by-768 display rather than the more expensive 1,920-by-1,080 panels used on pricier notebooks. It delivers a relatively sharp 720p picture and good color quality but exhibits color shift when viewed from an extreme angle. A webcam and microphone array is embedded in the upper bezel.
The HP 2000 has three USB ports, and all of them are of the older and slower USB 2.0 variety. You do get HDMI and VGA video outputs, in addition to headphone and microphone jacks and a LAN port. By way of comparison, the Dell Inspiron 15 is equipped with two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports as well as an HDMI port. On the left side of the HP 2000's chassis is a 2-in-1 card reader, and there's a tray-loading DVD multi-drive on the right. Wireless b/g/n networking is built in, but Bluetooth 4.0 is not.
The 320GB hard drive is small compared with the 500GB drive you get with the Dell Inspiron 15 and Toshiba C855D-S5104. It comes with Windows 8 and apps from eBay, Netflix, iHeart Radio, Kindle, and Skype. Trial versions of Microsoft Office and Norton Internet Security are also onboard, as are a handful of HP apps. The HP 2000 is covered by a standard one-year warranty.
The HP 2000 uses a 1.3GHz AMD E-300 APU (accelerated processing unit) and has 4GB of system memory. Graphics are powered by an integrated AMD Radeon HD6310 chip. As with the Toshiba C855D-S5104, which uses the same configuration, performance was lacking.
Its PCMark 7 score of 1,087 was significantly lower than that of the Intel Pentium-powered Dell Inspiron 15 (2,117) and the Core i3-based laptops. It also lagged the Toshiba C855D-S5104 by more than 250 points. Its score of 0.45 on the Cinebench R11.5 CPU test was much slower than the Intel-based laptops and only fractionally better than the AMD-based Toshiba C855D-S5104.
As with the Toshiba C855D-S5104, the HP 2000 took more than 24 minutes to complete our Photoshop CS6 tasks. The Dell Inspiron 15 took 9 minutes 4 seconds, and the Intel Core i3-powered Toshiba C875-S7340 did it in 5 minutes 47 seconds. The HP's Handbrake encoding time of 9 minutes 46 seconds was more than 7 minutes slower than the Dell Inspiron 15.
Don't look to the HP 2000 to run graphics-intensive games and applications. It managed just 6 fps (frames per second) on our medium quality Alien vs. Predators test and 5 fps on our Heaven DX11 gaming benchmark test (also at medium quality).
Battery life was much better than what we saw with the Intel Core i3-equipped notebooks. The HP 2000 lasted 4 hours 47 minutes on our battery rundown test, coming in second to the AMD-powered Toshiba C855D-S5104. The Dell Inspiron 15 gave us 4:10 of juice and the Intel Core i3-equipped Toshiba C875-S7340 lasted 2:39.
At just under $300 the HP 2000-2b19wm is certainly affordable. But even though it provides adequate horsepower for Web browsing and emailing you'll have to be patient while it struggles with more demanding productivity and multimedia encoding tasks. As with the Toshiba Satellite C855D-S5104, the HP 2000 offers better than average battery life but comes up short in terms of features. If you can live with a slightly shorter battery life, our Editors' Choice, the Dell Inspiron 15 (I15RV-6190BLK) offers much better performance and comes with a larger hard drive, Bluetooth networking, and USB 3.0 technology.
This review is in partnership with PCMag.com.